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2020 Official Road Map

HALLELUJAH!  It has been like pulling teeth trying to get a copy of the 2020 official road map for over a year now.  My DMV office usually has them in their brochure display.  However, they only had 2018 and 2019 copies until getting rid of the display completely.  I nearly got one back in June on a trip to Washington County, but encountered a traffic jam approaching the western I-70/I-79 split.  I had an appointment to get to in Monroeville later in the day and didn’t want to lose any time; therefore, my visit to the welcome center at the West Virginia state line ended before it began.  Out of two that are within driving distance, that is the closest one to where I live.

Twice I ordered via mail from the PennDOT Sales Office, and twice received copies of the 2019 version.  The last time around I even wrote “2020 editions preferred” on the order, but alas, my plea was for not.  I felt hesitation calling due to the sales office having not been staffed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This past Monday I thought I would take a shot, and fortunately spoke to a very helpful lady.  So today, nine months and change into 2021, I have finally received a copy of the 2020 map. 

Unlike last year, there are no changes of note between this version and the 2019 version in terms of the road system.  There is one update on the cover.  From 2017 to 2019, the website address for the Department of Transportation was printed as “PENNDOT.GOV” in the upper-right corner of the cover.  For some reason, on the cover of the 2019 edition, it erroneously changed to a “.com.”  It only recently moved from www.dot.state.pa.us to that address.  The correct URL has returned to this year’s edition.

Cover of the 2020 official state road map

The map has the same dimensions as the previous year’s, and features the same amenities such as the tourism slogan and “2020” in a keystone.  However, this year’s cover picture is of the Blue Rocks boulder field in Berks County.  You can view the 2020 official road map on PennDOT’s site PDF icon.

 
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2019 Official Road Map

With the Department of Transportation having printed an official road map for every year of the past decade, I figured there would be one for 2019. I stopped by the DMV and picked up the last one of the 2010s decade, and marks the 2010s the first one in 50 years to have a map published in every year. The following are the changes in the 2019 official Pennsylvania map since the 2018 edition:

Allegheny County/Washington County
PA Turnpike 576 shown as under construction

Bucks County
Interstate 95 and Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange now complete and Interstate 95 routed over the Delaware River Bridge
Interstate 295 replaces Interstate 95 north of the Turnpike

Somerset County
US 219 expressway completed

Cover of the 2019 official state road map

The map has the same dimensions as the previous year’s, and features the same amenities such as the tourism slogan and “2019” in a keystone.  This year’s cover picture is of a family taking a selfie on a ski slope.  However, there is one noticeable error on the cover.  The Department of Transportation’s website is erroneously printed as “PENNDOT.COM” in the upper-right corner when it has been a “.gov” for the past few years.  You can view the 2019 official road map on PennDOT’s site PDF icon.

 
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2018 Official Road Map

Knowing the track record of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, I figured there would be a new 2018 official road map.  Sure enough, there is, so I swung by the DMV office to pick up a few.  The following are the changes since the 2017 issue:

Snyder County/Union County
Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway (US 15 and PA 147) shown as under construction

The Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway is shown as under construction on the 2018 official road map

That is the only change to the 2018 official road map, but it is a big change. The Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway is another project that PennDOT shelved in the 1970s due to lack of funds which is finally seeing the light of day. While the Governor Edward Rendell administration promised $51 million for the highway; however, the money was never allocated by the time he left office. Funding would not be secured until 2013 when Act 89 was signed into law by then Governor Tom Corbett. The bill provides for road projects, bridge repairs, as well as funding for public transit.

The map has the same dimensions as the previous year’s, and features the same amenities such as the tourism slogan and “2018” in a keystone.  However, this year’s cover picture is from Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County.

Cover of the 2018 Department of Transportation map
 
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It’s a Snap…chat!

One thing that I have tried to make Pennsylvania Highways be is at the forefront of innovations of Internet technology.  Recently that technology is with the evolution of social media, or what was once referred to as “Web 2.0.”  While I will be the first to admit that the site itself still has work to be done, it’s presence in social media has been extensive.  Some of our social media channels have worked out well engaging with the public, such as Twitter and Facebook, and others not so much, such as Del.icio.us and Vimeo, have not.

One new social media outlet that has been talked about in recent time is Snapchat. It is similar to text messaging or instant messaging, except that the “snaps” you send someone automatically deletes itself after a period of time. Even with this limitation, businesses are jumping on the bandwagon and joining.

We figured we might as well jump on the bandwagon as well, but trying to navigate Snapchat is a little challenging. Businesses use it to advertise discount codes for their stores, share branded filters, or show “behind-the-scenes” activities. I doubt anyone wants to see me code pages or update content, so I guess it’ll be used to promote new construction projects. If you want to join us on the trip, just snap (see what I did there?) our snapcode below.

Pennsylvania Highways Snapcode
 
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2017 Official Road Map

While looking on the PennDOT website, I discovered there was a new 2017 official road map.  So, I took a drive to the DMV office and picked up a few. One copy is for the Pennsylvania Highways Library and a couple to trade.  The following are the changes since the 2016 map, and long overdue ones at that:

Bucks County/Montgomery County
Business US 202 now shown on the former route of US 202

Business US 202 in Montgomery and Bucks counties is finally signed on the 2017 official road map

Somerset County
US 219 under construction from Meyersdale to Somerset

US 219 is finally indicated as under construction on the 2017 official road map

While under construction since 2013, this edition is the first to show the work taking place. I have expressed my bewilderment to this major project being ignored over the past three yearly map issues in their respective reviews. As for Business US 202, it was signed in 2012 when the new US 202 parkway was completed.

While it has the same dimensions as the previous year’s, the cover is much different that on past issues.  For the first time since the 2003 edition, “Pennsylvania” is not printed in a Clearview-like font on a blue background at the top of the cover.  It is now printed in the font that is in use by the Department of Tourism, and the new slogan, “Pursue Your Happiness” is printed below.  The year of issue is at the bottom in a keystone, appropriately enough.  This year’s also marks the inclusion of the Department of Transportation’s new web address with “PENNDOT.GOV” printed in the upper-right corner of the cover.  The picture on the cover of the 2017 official road map is of Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County.

Cover of the 2017 Department of Transportation map
 
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2016 Official Road Map

Since my driver’s license was up for renewal, I was at the DMV and figured I would see if there were any new state road maps out on display.  As usual, they did not disappoint and I snagged a copy of the 2016 official road map.

Unlike last year, there are no changes of note between this version and the 2015 version.  Just as in 2014, one blatantly obvious omission still is in Somerset County. The major project that has already begun there is construction of the “missing link” of US 219 expressway between Meyersdale and Somerset. Construction began on this link on February 15, 2013; however, it is missing on this year’s map again. It was missing on the 2014 and 2015 editions as well. It is odd because this is a project which has been championed for years by local officials. One politician in particular who pushed for the road was the late US Representative John Murtha. I would venture a guess that it will be shown as under construction at some point on a future edition.

Construction of US 219 between Meyersdale and Somerset is still missing on the 2016 official road map

It has the same dimensions as the previous year’s. However, the cover of the 2016 official road map features a picture of a picture of Liberty Street in Franklin.

Cover of the 2016 Department of Transportation map
 
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Up Periscope!

We all know the function of periscopes on submarines.  They are the instrument that sailors use to check out what is going on on the surface.  Just as that periscope helps see a wider view, there is now an app that can do the same thing.

Periscope was developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein in 2014 and acquired by Twitter a year later.  The purpose of the app is to stream in real-time anything using a smartphone.  Hopefully I will be able to use it to live stream events such as ribbon-cutting ceremonies, project open houses, and other events related to the highway system.  As they say in the television business, “stay tuned.”

https://www.periscope.tv/pahighways

 
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2015 Official Road Map

Christmas came a little late this year for yours truly, at least in terms of road-related presents.  Since I did not have time to get to the DMV, I figured I would just order the 2015 official road map directly from PennDOT.  Here are the changes since last year:

Carbon County
Exit 87 (E-ZPass-only) at PA 903 is now open on Interstate 476/Pennsylvania Turnpike-Northeast Extension

E-ZPass-only ramps at PA 903 in Carbon County are new on the 2015 official road map

Westmoreland County
PA Turnpike 66‘s exit numbers are finally shown along the expressway after the highway has been open since 1993 and changed from sequential to mileage-based in 2001.

PA Turnpike 66's exit numbers first appear on the 2015 official road map even though the highway has been open since 1993

Pittsburgh Inset
PA 28 now shown with the red expressway “stripe” from the 40th Street Bridge to the Butler Street interchange and the Millvale interchange now shown

East Ohio Street shown as an expressway on the 2015 official road map

The “missing link” in the limited-access roadway between the Interstate 279/Interstate 579 interchange and the 40th Street Bridge was a long time in coming. Activity began to pick up in the 2000s with construction planned to start in 2004 and end in 2009; however, the plan at the time was put on the shelf. Construction did not begin until 2010 and was completed last year.

Those are all of the changes to the 2015 official road map. It has the same dimensions as the previous year’s. However, this year’s cover features a picture of a two-lane roadway in the fall.

Cover of the 2015 Department of Transportation map
 
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2013 Official Turnpike Map

At today’s car show at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza, not only did I receive a lot of Turnpike “swag,” but included in the “goodie” bag that all participants received was a copy of the new 2013 official Turnpike map.

It is the same size as the 2011 version, but instead of being a tri-fold map, this year’s version features an “accordion” fold.  The following are the changes made since the last edition:

Carbon County
E-ZPass-only interchange on Interstate 476/Pennsylvania Turnpike-Northeast Extension marked as under construction

Fayette County/Washington County
PA Turnpike 43 open between US 40 and PA 88

The cover features a picture of the mainline Turnpike between the Blue Mountain and Carlisle interchanges.  You can view the strip maps of the 2013 official Turnpike map at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s page.

Cover of the 2013 Turnpike Travel Guide and Map
 
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2014 Official Road Map

After hearing that there was a new state highway map, I thought I would attempt to find one myself.  Sure enough, I found the sixth official map in a row to be printed. That is something which hasn’t happened in nearly 40 years. I snagged a copy of the 2014 official road map at the Welcome Center on Interstate 70 in Warfordsburg today.

Unlike in previous years, there were no changes of note since the 2013 version.  It is not as if nothing has happened or is currently happening in the state. One blatantly obvious omission is in Somerset County. A major project that has already begun there is construction of the “missing link” of US 219 expressway between Meyersdale and Somerset. Work began on February 15, 2013; however, it is missing on this year’s map. It is odd because this is a project that has been championed for years by local officials. One politician in particular who pushed for the road was the late US Representative John Murtha.

Construction of US 219 between Meyersdale and Somerset is missing on the 2014 official road map

It has the same dimensions as the previous year’s. However, the cover of the 2014 official road map features a picture of a 10-string Harp Guitar made by C. F. Martin & Company, Inc. of Nazareth.

Cover of the 2014 Department of Transportation map
 
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